With the warmer weather setting in, it is officially time to break out one of a coffee lover’s favorite drinks of the summer season: cold brew coffee! While you may think that nothing can beat a nice cold brew coffee from your preferred local coffee shop, did you know that it can be simple to make cold brew coffee at home?
If you are looking to save some money and time spent in long coffee shop lines this summer by brewing up a batch of cold brew at home, then you have come to the right place! We are going to let you know the ideal cold brew coffee ratio grams and the three steps to help you achieve your perfect flavor every time – maybe even better than your favorite coffee shop!
Why Cold Brew Coffee?
Maybe you are new to cold brew coffee and thinking, why should I give this a shot? Besides the fact that it can be a refreshing alternative to hot coffee on a warm summer day, there are other good reasons to try cold brew coffee.
It Is Less Acidic than Regular Coffee
If regular hot coffee tends to disagree with your stomach, you may find that you have an easier time with cold brew. This is because the acidity of regular coffee is largely due to the quick degradation and oxidization of the oils and acids in the coffee bean you use, which occur during the hot brewing process.
The cold brewing process involves low temperatures and a much longer brewing time than hot coffee, so there is significantly reduced acidity, making it easier on the stomach.
You Can Batch Brew
If you have a large enough container and brew it properly, a homemade batch of cold brew coffee can last in the fridge for up to 10 days. If you are in a rush to get to work in the mornings, you can pour and go!
You Do Not Need Any Special Equipment or Coffee
You can buy special cold brew coffee makers if you are inclined, but a mason jar or French press can also most certainly do the job. You can also choose whatever coffee you like for a batch of cold brew –make sure it is coarsely ground. If you do not have a grinder at home, you can probably find one at your local grocery store.
Cold Brew Coffee Can Be Both Strong and Sweet
Your cold brew’s strength depends on a lot of factors, such as the amount that you dilute it, the beans you use, and the steeping time. Cold brew generally tends to be sweeter, though, because the brewing process tends to bring out less of the bitter compounds in the coffee.
Ready to make some cold brew coffee? Before you get started, let us begin by considering the most important factor: cold brew coffee ratio grams.
One of the most important things to consider when making cold brew coffee is the brew ratio of coffee grounds to water. This can be confusing when making cold brew, as when you brew the coffee this way, you are typically brewing a concentrate and not just one cup at a time. You dilute the concentrate to achieve your final, drinkable cup of cold brew coffee.
Generally, when considering cold brew coffee ratio grams for brewing a concentrate, you are looking for about 1 gram of coarsely ground coffee per about 2-5 grams of water.
There are different recommended ratios depending on how you like your coffee. Usually, the brewing ratios are written as 1:2 which means that 1 part of coffee is added to 2 parts of water.
The word ‘part’ in this context could be any measure you prefer. It could be a weight measure such as grams or ounces or a volume measure such as milliliters or fluid ounces. Most of the time coffee and water are measured by weight but some people may also use volume. You can expect the taste of your coffee to differ depending upon the measure (weight or volume) used to prepare the brew.
A ‘part’ may also be any amount you prefer. For example, a 1:2 ratio could be 1 g coffee added to 2 g of water but it could also be 2 g of coffee added to 4 g of water. The ratio of 1:2 is the same in each case.
Did you know that a dilution ratio written as 1:2 can also be written as a dilution fraction of 1/3? We are saying that 1 part added to 2 parts gives a total of 3 parts. Thus, 1:2 and 1/3 are the same dilution.
You may find that some ratios may work better with different equipment or periods of extraction time than others. Ultimately it is up to you, so choose the brewing ratio that fits best with your preferences or feel free to experiment!
The following is a guideline of potential ratios that you may want to create your perfect cold brew coffee.
- 1:7 – This may be a good ratio to go for if you are looking for a strong French press cold brew
- 1:4 – 1:5 – These ratios of coffee grounds to water will typically yield a full-flavored, nicely balanced cold brew
- 1:2 – 1:3 – If you are looking to make a strong cold brew concentrate, try one of these ratios
While considering your cold brew coffee ratio grams in terms of coffee grounds to water is important at the beginning of the cold brew process, it is also important to consider your diluting ratios of concentrate to water or milk at the end of the process. The quality and taste of your final cup of coffee are largely dependent on both factors.
Normally, when considering coffee grounds-to-water amounts when making hot coffee, the ideal balanced ratio is somewhere between 1:15 to 1:18. Here is an idea of how your coffee will taste at each ratio:
- 1:15 will give a strong and bright flavor
- 1:16 will be a little lighter but still bright and smooth
- 1:17 gives a more well-rounded flavor while still being smooth
- 1:18 will be light and well-rounded
While 1:15 to 1:18 is what you are going for when making regular hot coffee, when diluting your cold brew coffee, most people aim for a 1:10-1:14 ratio.
Let us look at achieving the ideal cold brew dilution ratio using a strong 1:2 cold brew concentrate.
- To get a strong 1:11 dilution ratio, combine 1 part concentrate with four parts of cold water
- To get a lighter 1:14 ratio, combine 1 part concentrate with five parts of cold water
If you add ice to your drink and some of it melts, then your final dilution will be in the 1:15 to 1:18 range depending on how much ice you add.
Let’s take a look at the math…
You start out with a 1:2 cold brew concentration and you want to finish with a 1:11 cup of cold brew coffee.
For simplicity let us say we took 1 ml of concentrate as our ‘part’
1:2 = 1/3 and 1:11 = 1/12
Using the dilution formula
C1V1 = C2V2 (where C = concentration and V = volume)
1/3 x 1 ml = volume of water x 1/12
1/3 x 1 x 12 = volume of water
4 ml = volume of water
That is, add 1 ml of our 1:2 concentrate to 4 ml of water and we will have a final coffee to water ratio of 1:11 or 1/12
If it is your first time doing cold brew and you are not yet sure which diluting ratio is for you, then the best thing to do is first dilute it to a 1:11 ratio, try it, and then keep adding a little bit of milk or water until it suits your preferences.
If you do not want to do this every time you make a cold brew coffee, though, carefully measure out the amounts you are adding and keep it written down somewhere, so you do not forget!
To summarize, the three steps to achieving your perfect flavor are:
- Find the right brewing ratio
- Find the right dilution ratio
- Measure them properly and write them down!
Now that you know how to achieve your perfect flavor, time to make some cold brew!
Cold Brew Coffee: Supplies and Ingredients
To make cold brew coffee at home, all you need is:
- Coffee beans. You can try JavaPresse as they have a variety of coffee roasts and are well-priced. But you also may like to see our other recommendations for French Press Coffee, Africa Fair Trade Coffee, Fair Trade Coffee from around the world or coffee from some of the best roasters in the USA. You can choose flavor you like, but note that acidic fruit and flower notes may not extract well.
- A hand coffee grinder or a precise conical burr electric coffee grinder
- Water. Filtered water is best, as you want the cleanest-tasting water, so it does not interfere with the flavors of the coffee.
- Mason jar (or cold brew coffee maker or French press) some of the best selling are shown below
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- Coffee filter (can be cheesecloth, paper filter, or fine-mesh sieve)
- Kitchen scale. Three of the best kitchen scales are shown below
How To Make Cold Brew Coffee in 3 Steps
Now that you have an idea of cold brew coffee ratio grams, are you ready to make your first batch in terms of both brewing and diluting ratios? It is as simple as setup, steep, and strain. Follow the steps below to make cold brew coffee at home.
Step 1: Setup
Make sure your coffee is coarsely ground, then pour it into your container. Add the water in slowly and stir it to ensure all the grounds are moist. Then, cover your container (if your container does not have a lid, use something like cheesecloth).
Step 2: Steep
Allow the coffee to sit for about 12-24 hours in the fridge if possible. You can let it sit at room temperature, but make sure it gets refrigerated as soon as it is done.
Step 3: Strain
If you are just using a container to make your cold brew, use a coffee filter or a fine-mesh sieve (ideally lined with cheesecloth) to strain the coffee. Place your strainer of choice on top of the container you will be storing it in and pour the cold brew through it and into the container.
Now, if you are using a French press, then just strain it by pushing down on the plunger and pour into your storage container. In either case, strain a second time if you feel like it is necessary.
You are finished with your cold brew! To serve, you can add some ice and mix it with some milk or water to taste or try one of the diluting ratios mentioned above.
My Cold Brew Coffee Is Not Strong Enough/Is Too Strong
Often, this can be fixed after the coffee has already been brewed by adjusting the amount of water or milk you are adding to dilute your drink – try a different diluting ratio. If it is too strong, add some more water or milk. If it is not strong enough, then add some more of the concentrate.
On the other hand, it is possible that you incorrectly measured out your ratio of coffee to water in the first place. If that is the case, do not worry about it – it may take some trial and error to hone your skills and get your cold brew to your liking.
Also, the recommended ratios may not be for everyone, so feel free to experiment with your own personal cold brew recipe.